2017 Tammy and Paula's Holly-Jolly, Tra-la-la, Rum-pum-pum, Decked-out Holiday Book List

Whatever holiday you may be celebrating this winter, Paula and I wanted to give readers some help finding some new book treasures to be shared and cherished. We found many  books that were tickle-your-funny-bone funny, awe-inspiring, or beautiful. We also included a few titles with heavier themes (see YA novel section) but it's not all doom-gloom and dysfunction.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, here's the line up for the week:

Today          - Picture Books
Tomorrow    - Middle Grade Fiction & Graphic Novels
Thursday     - High School Fiction  & Classic Parodies
Friday         - Non-fiction (all ages)

All books listed here have been linked to the Indigo Books website. Paula and I spent a morning recently pouring over books and sipping festive beverages at a nearby store with the thought that these books would be easy for everyone to find at their own local bookstores. If you can't make it out to shop them maybe try the buying them online.

Happy holiday reading, Everyone!

(To see days 1 and 2 please scroll down)

Do you hear what I hear?  Contemporary Teen Novels

The following is a very short list of some current reads for teens about contemporary life.  These kids are dealing with issues related to who they are, their sexuality, their family and friends, and how they get on in the world at large. You know… just the usual stuff.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  Gr. 8 and up *Mystery   *Romance   *Brothers   *Strong female characters *Smattering of magical realism  *Starrred reviews

Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno
   *Gr. 8 and up  *Grief  *Puzzle to solve  *Conquering fears

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
   *Gr.9 and up   *Race issues  *Friendship  *Controversy  *Starred reviews

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
   *Gr. 9 and up  *Sexual orientation  *Mystery/Thriller

Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant
   *Gr.8 and up  *Humorous  *Rent-a-relative scheme  *Quirky characters

Spinning by Tillie Walden
   *Gr.8 and up  *Sexual identity   *Sports  *Figure skating  *Self awareness

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
   *Gr.9 and up  *Part narrative verse – part prose  *family dysfunction  *Sexual identity  *Super popular author

I’m dreaming of a … dangerous, dystopian netherworld - Teen Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Is spending time with your teen making you re-think modern society and it’s very survival?  Do you want to intercept their line of vision before it sinks back to SnapChat and Instagram?  These fantasy and sci-fi choices will have your teen reading and taking on all the qualities of the human you love.

  *Gr. 8 and up *Graphic Novel   *Time Travel   *Technology   *Adventure

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
  *Gr. 8 and up *Prequel   *Fantasy   *His Dark Materials 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  Gr.11 & up *Classic   *Groovy Cover   *Timely

  *Gr.9-12  *Evil Queen (Snow White) Retelling   *Chinese Fantasy   *Zombies  

Freya by Mathew Laurence
  *Gr.10-12  *Contemporary   *Fantasy   *Humour

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
  *Gr.8 and up *Gothic   *Psychological Thriller   *Dark

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
  *Gr. 9 and up *Time Travel   *Space Travel   *Adventure  

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
  Gr. 8 and up   *Dragons   *Fantasy   *Interesting Characters

Miles Morales, spider man by Jason Reynolds
  *Gr. 7 and up  *Adventure    *Marvel    *Superheroes   *Normal life

Monster by Michael Grant
  *Gr. 9-12  *Superheroes   *Fantasy   *Dystopia

  *Gr. 9 and Up
*Pirates   *Adventure   *Series  *Sequel available!!

…we have heard on high…Historical Teen Fiction

Only two books in this section but they are both special.  Each one would be wonderful for the historical fiction reader in your circle.  From the deathly seriousness of Auschwitz and how life secretly is contained within its walls to a funny character-driven tour-de-force in 18th century Europe, these two books will appeal to a reader you may know.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
   *Gr.8-11  *Based on historical characters   *Hope   *Resilience 

   Gr. 7-12  *Sexual Identity   *Humour  *Grand Tour of Europe  *1700’s

DAY 2  - Middle Grade Level                
(Day 1 is below today's posting)

Now the Jingle Hop Has Begun – Middle Grade Novels

We think there’s a little something here for everyone, in this long-ish list – boys, girls, athletes, saints, amnesics, foundlings, detectives, inventors, yetis, and even, mutant bunnies.  Middle grade is a time of change – bodies, relationships, circumstances – it’s all here. Except for the mutant bunnies of course, no more changing for them, thank goodness!

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
   *Gr.5-9   *Contemporary  *Overcoming fears 

Lights, Camera, Middle School (Babymouse: Tales From the Locker) by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
   *Gr.3-5  *School stories  *Series  *Humorous

   *Gr.3-5  *Early chapter book  *Illustrated  *Imaginary friend  *Fantasy

Ghost ; Patina by Jason Reynolds
   *Gr.5-7  *Series   *Sports (Track)  *Family  *Friendships 

The Inquistor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
   *Gr. 6 and up   *Historical  *Canterbury Tale-like narrative  *Religion  *Mysticism  *Newbery Honor

   *Gr.6-8  *Adventure  *Humorous  *Inventions  *Brother and sister

Mutant Bunny Island by Obert Skye 
  *Gr.3-6  *Adventure  *Fantasy  *Humorous (bordering on total nonsense) 

Not as We Know It by Tom Avery
   *Gr. 6-10  *Cool cover  *Magic-realism  *Brothers  *Grief  *Strange creature

The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
   *Gr.3-7  *Historical  *Fantasy  *Humorous  *WWII  *UFOs

Pablo and Birdy by Alison McGhee
   *Gr.3-7  *Humorous  * Fantasy  *Birds  *Foundling story  *Illustrated

Poison is Not Polite by Robin Stevens
   *Gr.5-9  *Historical (1930s)  *Detective/Mystery 

Restart by Gordon Korman
   *Gr.4-9  *Character development story  *Amnesia  *Bullying  *Humorous

   *Gr.4-7  *Girl inventor  *School science fair  *Friendship and family issues

   *Gr.4-7  *Historical (1919)  *English family  *Fairy-tale themes *Mental illness  *Starred reviews

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
   *Gr.3-7  *Fantasy/fairy tale  *Illustrarted  *Sisters  *Kindness

The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
   *Gr. 4-7  *Historical  * Growing up  *Grief  *Interesting location  *Starred reviews

Who Killed Darius Drake? by Rodman Philbrick
   *Gr.4-12  *Humorous  *Detective/mystery

Wolfie and Fly by Cary Fagan
   *Gr.3-5   *Humorous  *Friendship  * Imagination

  *Gr. 2-5  *Graphic novels  *Series  *Humorous  *Silly adventures

Away in a manger…Novels featuring Animals

Where all of the animals gather to get warm and nourished.  Settle in with Rover or Kitty with a few festive treats for both of you and read a great animal story.  Animal stories are favourites among the middle grade set.  You may want to take turns with a read aloud or let your young person just enjoy some down time reading during the holidays.  Either way, these books are bound to become favourites.

   *Gr. 2-5  *Beginning Chapters   *Read Aloud   *Personable Animals    *Series

   *Gr. 4-7  *WWI   *Fiction/Non-Fiction   *Soldiers   *Animals in War   *Canada

   *Gr.4-7  *Pigs   *Domesticated Animals    *Friendship   *Family

Wedgie and Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors with illustrations by Barbara Fisinger
   *Gr.7-5  *Blended Families   *Beginning Chapters   *Series   *Family Competition

A Whisper of Horses by Zillah Bethell
   *Gr.4-7  *Fantasy   *Adventure   *Dystopia   *Older Readers

Merry Graphic Novels and a Happy New Year - Graphic Novels
Everyone has someone on his or her list who would love to read a story in comic form.  Some are colour comics, some black and white but there is always a great story to read and enjoy.  So grab a hot chocolate and curl up with one of these.

*We have a couple more graphic novels to recommend but they're more appropriate for teens. Please check out tomorrow's list.

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
   *Gr.5-8  *Middle School Challenges     *Friendship    *Fitting In

   *Gr.3-6   *Two Stories    *Journalism    *Mystery

The Bad Guys #1 by Aaron Blabey
   *Gr.2-4  *Graphic novel  *Animals  *Humorous  *Series

Newsprints by Ru Xu
   *Gr.6-8    *Identity     *Truth    *Friendship  *

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
   * Gr.5-9   *Identity     *Family Secrets    *Two Cultures  

The Witch Boy by Milly Knox Ostertag
   *Gr.3-7   *Courage   *Magic    *Fantasy    *Family

Day 1 - Picture Books

Behold! Beautiful Words, Illustrations and Intentions (Preshool to grade 3)

The following books all have some aspect of beauty that make them stand out. It might be the illustrations of which you will see a range of styles or it might be found in the meaning of the text about appreciating what we have and taking notice of what and who are in our lives.

All My Treasures: A Book of Joy by Jo Witek, illustrated by Christine Roussey
  *The things in life that make you happy  *Interactive

Bear’s House of Books by Poppy Bishop
   *Appreciation of reading & books  *Read aloud

FallingWater: the Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece by Marc Marshman and Anna Egan Smucker, illustrator LeUyen Pham
   *Beautiful book  *Building  *Architects
   *Planet Earth (obviously)  *Respect & appreciation  *Wonder

 Nipehon/I Wait by Caitlin Dale Nicholson
   *First Nations  *Family  *Cree/English  *Nature

 Picture the Sky by Barbara Reid
   *Amazing illustrations  *Sky  *Observation of nature

Plume by Isabelle Simler
    *Birds and Feathers  *Nature  *Playful premise

 They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel
   *Cats  *Perspective  *Intriguing & imaginative

 Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
   *Bedtime story  *Interactive  *Night

Watersong by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Richard Smythe
   *Water  *Onomatopoeia  *Language play  *Read-aloud

 You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel
   *First Nations  *Respecting each other

Laughing All the Way - Humorous Picture Books (Preshool to grade 3)

Hahaha, and these books are sure to make for a funny, comfortable and cozy story time at the end of a long winter’s night.  These picture books are sure to please the kids (up to grade 3) and even the adult readers too.   Have a laugh together and enjoy some wacky stories and illustrations that never get old.

Black Belt Bunny by Jacky Davis
  *Karate   *Bunny    *Meal Preparation   *Salads

The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker
   *Cats   *Friendship   *Solitary Lives  *Based on NFB classic animated short film

 Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt
   *Friendships   *Pigs   *Chickens    *Adventures

The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel
   *Ballet   *Karate   *After School Activities   *Personal Interests

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds
   *Bunny   *Big Boy Underwear    *Things that Glow

   *Show and Tell   *Alligators   *Classrooms   *Principal’s Office   *Bad Ideas

If you happen to have a dinosaur by Linda Bailey and Colin Jack
   *Dinosaurs   *Family Life 

Naptastrophe! By Jarrett J. Krosoczka 
   *Bunny   *No Nap   *Family Slice-of-Life

Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed
   *Adventure  *Elephant   *Pig   *Friendship

 A Perfect Day by Lane Smith 
   *Animal Story   *Quirky Humour

Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis
   *Penguins   *North Pole   *Adventure

Super Jumbo by Fred Koehler
   *Elephant   *Superhero   *Kids helping out

Let It Snow! – Seasonal

Winter is a great time to get all snuggled in with a good book. But why not feel even more cocoon when reading about winter while it's cold and snowy outside? Here are a few recommendations that will give you this satisfaction and a few belly laughs along the way.

Hibernation Hotel by John Kelly, illustrated by Laura Brenlla
   *Preschool to Gr. 2  *Animals  *Humorous  *

Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider
   *Gr.7-11  *Light romance  *Christmas  *Short novel

A Loud Winter’s Nap by Katy Hudson
   *Preschool to Gr.2  *Turtle  *Animals  *Fun in winter  *Humorous

The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie
   *Preschool to Gr.3  *Humorous  *Nature conservation  *Animals  *Consequences

Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup, illustrated by Brett Helquist
   *Gr.4-7  *Animal fantasy *Ballet  *Christmas  *Illustrated novel 

Pug by Ethan Long
   *Preschool to Gr.1  *Dogs   *Humorous  *Patterned reading

Pup and Bear by Kate Banks
   *Preschool to Gr.2  *Arctic wildlife  *Kindness  *Metaphoral not realistic  *Very sweet, comforting

Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly MacKay
   *Preschool to Gr.2  *Wordless  *Ballet  *Christmas  *Fabulous art work

I wanna wish you a ……couple of Compilations 

 Here are a few collections of stories or poetry that may appeal to you when you want to buy just one book but get lots for reading for your money.  Some classics, some not-so-classic, there may be a collection here that is right for your special recipient.

 Coyote Tales by Thomas King
*Trickster Stories   *Illustrated   *Early Readers   *Animal Stories

*Early Reader   *Collection of 5 Stories   *Super-Saver    *Humorous    *Series

*Classic   *Aesop   *Nicely Illustrated   *Traditional   *Read Aloud

*Poetry   *Read Aloud   *Bedtime Stories   *Popular Poets

In the meadow, we will build a snowman  : Hands-On for the Very Young

Do you have a builder, a doer, a maker, a hands-on kind of little person?  Are you buying for someone who may not sit still for a conventional story but would love to name every kind of tool in the toolbox?  Here are a few good picks to share with your young person.

Touch Think Learn ABC by Xavier Deneux
*Board Book   *Preschool   *Tactile  

Build a Block by Christopher Franceschelli, Art by Peskimo
*Construction Machines   *Board Book    *Preschool
Tools Rule by Aaron Meshon
*Tools   *Building   *Word Play   *Preschool

Box by Min Flyte
*Flip the Flap   *Preschool   *Buddy Book

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